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DA sets aside ₱2.5 B to lend to MSMEs and returning OFWs

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Philippine government will set aside ₱2.5 billion to lend to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who will be interested to put up agriculture-related businesses.

Agriculture Spokesperson Noel Reyes said that as per Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC) Director Jocelyn Badiola, ₱2.5 billion has been available to bankroll the agency’s three loan programs which are meant to assist MSMEs, OFWs, and millennials venturing into agriculture.

These loan programs are being provided with zero interest, free training, and government-led technical and marketing assistance.

“We are opening our doors to OFWs,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar. “[So they can] join the ranks of our new breed of agri-preneurs, who will help us revive and reboot the countryside”.

Dar recently hold a teleconference with Gemma Sotto, chairperson of the United Filipino Global International, and dozens of government officials and leaders of OFW organizations in the Middle East, US and Australia, among other countries.

During the virtual meeting, Dar enumerated ACPC’s loan programs, including the Expanded SURE-Aid and Recovery Project (SURE COVID-19), Kapital Access for Young Agri-prenuers (KAYA), and Agri-Negosyo (ANYO).

“Now is the time to tap the OFW sector as they start to reintegrate themselves back to their respective homes, communities and provinces,” Dar said.

DA had already provided loans to a few OFWs so far, one of which is Celestino Mananguit, an engineer, who used this credit to develop an integrated eight-hectare livestock farm in Bulacan.

According to the agency, Mananguit was able to expand this into a techno-demonstration and agri-tourism farm that provides food, livelihood and employment in his community.

A retired seaman, Melbert Gabriel Fadrigo, was also able to develop their family farm in Antique using the loan he obtained from ACPC.

Under the SURE COVID-19 program, MSMEs may avail of up to P10 million as working capital at zero interest and payable in five years.

They may be engaged in agri-fishery food production, delivery of produce or commodities, and other activities in the supply chain whose operations were affected by the expanded community quarantine (ECQ).

Under this program, individual farmers and fishers affected by the ECQ may also borrow a non-collateralized loan of ₱25,000, zero interest, payable 10 years, to finance their emergency and production capital requirements.

To attract young entrepreneurs or agri-fishery graduates, aged 18 to 30 years old, ACPC offers the KAYA financial package, which allows borrowers to access ₱500,000 funding with zero interest and is payable in five years.

The ANYO program, on the other hand, finances agriculture ventures, working capital or fixed asset acquisition by individuals, sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, and cooperatives, whose members are marginal small farmers and fisherfolk.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/05/19/da-sets-aside-%e2%82%b12-5-b-to-lend-to-msmes-and-returning-ofws/)

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